Oklahoma Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Sexual abuse is rarely a concern that families consider when seeking a nursing home or assisted living facility to place a loved one in. Family members are understandably outraged when they learn that their loved ones may have been the victims of sexual abuse while living in a nursing facility.
Few allegations are as troubling as those involving sexual misconduct. In such cases, a nursing home or assisted living facility could face criminal and civil liability for its negligence.
Do you believe that your loved one was the victim of sexual abuse at a nursing home in Oklahoma? You will want to be sure to retain legal counsel for assistance in making sure that the negligent facility is held fully accountable.
The Oklahoma nursing home sexual abuse attorneys at the Abel Law Firm can conduct a diligent independent investigation to collect necessary evidence and identify all liable parties. We can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (405) 239-7046 or complete an online contact form to receive a free consultation.
Identifying Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can be tricky to identify because the signs of such abuse are not always immediately apparent. Some of the most common signs typically include:
- Unexplained sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- Bloody or torn underwear
- Pelvic injuries
- Bruises in the genital area
- Problems walking or sitting
Not all signs of abuse necessarily involve physical evidence of a criminal offense. In many cases, victims of nursing home sexual abuse may display other symptoms that indicate emotional consequences to their incidents, including noticeable depression, withdrawal, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), agitation, or panic attacks.
Discovering that a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse is certainly concerning, but it is also essential for families to figure out who the offender was in these cases. Nursing home staff members are supposed to be subject to background checks to prevent these types of incidents, and a nursing home could be liable for failing to adequately screen an employee when a staff member commits a sexual assault against a resident.
In some cases, sexual abuse may have been committed by another resident. It is also possible for the perpetrators to be family members or even complete strangers in some cases.
Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Statistics
According to the Administration for Community Living, over 20,0000 sexual abuse complaints were cataloged over 20 years, translating to approximately three complaints a day. The Administration for Community Living reported in 2015 that the number of sexual abuse complaints was on the rise.
In 2017, CNN reported that over 16,000 complaints of sexual abuse had been reported since 2000 in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. According to CNN, 226 nursing homes were cited for failing to protect residents from instances in which sexual abuse was substantiated between 2010 and 2015, and approximately 60 percent resulted in fines of more than $9 million.
CNN reported that the federal government cited more than 1,000 nursing homes for mishandling or failing to prevent alleged cases of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse at their facilities between 2013 and 2016. Almost 100 of these facilities were cited multiple times during the same period.
A study published in the Journal of Abuse found that approximately 12 percent of sexual abuse incidents involving elderly victims occurred within their places of residence. Nearly 15 percent of these cases occurred in the homes of the offenders.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), the oldest anti-rape coalition in the United States, reported that women are six times more likely than men to be victims of elder sexual abuse. According to PCAR, approximately 30 percent of victims of elder sexual abuse over 65 years of age report their abuse to authorities.
PCAR also reported that nearly 83 percent of victims of elder sexual abuse reside in an institutional care center such as a nursing home, approximately 27 percent of cases of elder sexual abuse occurred in either the elder’s own home or in the perpetrator’s home, and about 80 percent of cases involved perpetrators being the caregivers for the elders. The National Elder Abuse Incidence Study also found that about 67 percent of sexual abusers were family members.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
If you think or know that your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse at a nursing home in Oklahoma, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer will know how to handle your case and help you get justice.
Abel Law Firm proudly represents clients in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas of Oklahoma. Call (405) 239-7046 or contact us online to have our Oklahoma nursing home abuse lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free consultation.